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Good News from Gaston County Schools, September


Good News, September 2023

The following students were selected as a College Board National Recognition Program award winner: Naami Abbey, Daniel Duffy, Lilly Friday, James Gunter, and William Peyton of Forestview; Andre Gaddy and Evelyn Gutierrez Lira of Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences; Mia Cipriano, Micah Cipriano, Catherine Coronel Nava, Ryan Cruz Trujillo, Sofia Dorantes, Mauro Maya-Castro, Joshua Mendoza, Aileen Pena, Luna Peterkin, Elijah Sherrill, Erica Tetteh-Ocloo, and Stephanie Xalocan, Highland; Malaysia Friday-Scales, Hunter Huss; and Elias Pulliam, Aidan Tobin, and Alexander Villarreal of South Point.  The students earned the recognition for their academic achievements in school and outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and/or Advanced Placement (AP) exams. 

Forty-six teachers in Gaston County Schools completed the year-long “Gaston County Schools AIG Local Endorsement” (G.A.L.E.) program to earn credentials to work with academically and intellectually gifted students. The teachers are Cheryl Adams, Belmont Central Elementary; Ali Airhart, Belmont Middle; Susan Allen, Chavis Middle; Kierstin Backes, Belmont Central Elementary; Jessica Barnes, Pleasant Ridge Elementary; Brittany Beam Henderson, Chavis Middle; Caroline Belcher, York Chester Middle; Erin Braswell, Belmont Central Elementary; Brandi Bridgeman, Belmont Central Elementary; Catherine Brooks, Belmont Central Elementary; Amy Brown, Belmont Central Elementary; Penny Cable, Pleasant Ridge Elementary; Abbigail Coleman, Chavis Middle; Crystal Dean, York Chester Middle; Taunia Fascella, Belmont Central Elementary; Elonia Forde, Holbrook Middle; Angelita Gonzalez, Belmont Central Elementary; Miranda Graham, Belmont Central Elementary; Crystal Hall, Holbrook Middle; Shedeiky Hamilton-Barnes, Holbrook Middle; Christina Harris, Belmont Central Elementary; Amber Jefferies, W.C. Friday Middle; Jorge Hero, Holbrook Middle; Joshua Kaskay, Stanley Middle; Ceara Killian, Belmont Central Elementary; Anna Lawing, Belmont Central Elementary; Devon Mastria, Belmont Middle; Margaret McLain, Belmont Central Elementary; Jennifer Medici, Stanley Middle; April Murray, Belmont Central Elementary; Meredith Padgett, Pleasant Ridge Elementary; Kim Parrish, Belmont Central Elementary; Daniel Poole, Mount Holly Middle; Laura Rayfield, York Chester Middle; Blair Rice, Cramerton Middle; Courtney Robinson, Pleasant Ridge Elementary; Kristin Ross, Belmont Central Elementary; Misty Sigmon; Chavis Middle; Brittany Southard, Belmont Central Elementary; Lindsay Swayney, Grier Middle; Cassie Sylar, Belmont Central Elementary; Lisa Vaughn, Belmont Central Elementary; Deron Wilson, Holbrook Middle; LaTara Wilson, Belmont Central Elementary; Caleb Winburn, Cramerton Middle; and Heather Woods, Belmont Central Elementary.

Six schools achieved a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher: Gaston Early College High School, (100 percent); Highland School of Technology, (99.2 percent); South Point High School, (94.2 percent), Cherryville High School, (93.2 percent); East Gaston High School, (91.9 percent); and Forestview High School, (90.4 percent). Cherryville and East Gaston had the most significant increases when compared to the previous year. 

The following students were recognized as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program: Sean Adams of Ashbrook High School and Kieran Wood of Highland School of Technology.

The following high schools were recognized as an ejection-free school by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association: Ashbrook High School, Forestview High School, Highland School of Technology, Hunter Huss High School, and North Gaston High School.  The recognition acknowledges the schools’ commitment to good sportsmanship. 

Ashbrook High School junior Arianna Martell joined The Society of Torch & Laurel, which is an honors program for high school students.  The program helps students with guidance, motivation, and tools for making good decisions about their future.  In addition, Arianna was chosen to serve as a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders held in June at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.  The Congress of Future Medical Leaders is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or pursue medical research.  During the three-day program, Arianna joined students from across the country and heard from famous scientists, learned about new medical technology, and had the opportunity to watch a surgery.

Jeff Thompson, the resource officer at Bessemer City High School, was recognized for his quick actions in aiding a student who was choking and providing assistance to the school’s athletic director who had sustained an ankle injury while cutting grass.

Brookside Elementary received a donation of school supplies from the Gaston County Veterans Council.

The Cherryville High School cheerleading team earned recognition during the 2022-2023 sports season for having the third highest team grade point average in the state.  The honor was in addition to the cheerleaders winning three state-level championships. Wendy Holt serves as the cheerleading coach.

Members of the Cherryville High School football team took time to welcome and greet students at W.B. Beam Intermediate School as they arrived at school.

Life Church purchased most of the items on the Amazon wish list for Cramerton Middle School’s carpentry class.  Additionally, members of the church painted and arranged the carpentry classroom to make it nice for students.

The W.C. Friday Middle School band was selected to perform at the Disney Imagination Campus.  Cindy Owens is the school’s band director.

Gardner Park Elementary received a donation of school supplies from Tindol Subaru, and six teachers received grants of $500.

Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences junior Autumn Queen was elected to serve as the treasurer for the Gaston College Student Government Association.

Hawks Nest STEAM Academy received a North Carolina Outdoor Grant in the amount of $15,000 to help support the creation of an outdoor classroom area.  Teacher Suzanne Raxter applied for the grant.  The outdoor classroom space will enhance the school’s

Highland School of Technology was ranked the eighth best school in North Carolina by U.S. News and World Report.

Tyler Fuentes of Hunter Huss High School was recognized as one of the young artist winners by the Professional Educators of North Carolina.

The Carolina Panthers and Classroom Central hosted an encouragement pep rally at Lingerfeldt Elementary.  Students enjoyed fun activities featuring Sir Purr and the Carolina Panthers Top Cats while learning about the importance of reading, healthy eating and living, and doing their best in school.  The school also received supplies through the David and Nicole Tepper Foundation’s backpack distribution program.  

Lingerfeldt Elementary received the donations of school supplies from Praise Day Church, Fresh Start Church of God, Tabernacle Baptist Church, the Denton family, Martin Marietta Materials, Ben Bryant, the Galloway family, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority - Beta Mu Zeta Chapter.

Pinewood Elementary received a generous donation of school supplies and a financial contribution from Cook Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Stanley Middle School resource officer Jonathan Pullen is credited with performing the Heimlich maneuver to help a student who was choking.

On “K is for Kindness Day,” students from South Point High School read books to students at Belmont Central Elementary and Page Primary.  This special day serves as a tribute to the memory of Kay Scearce, who happened to be the grandmother of one of the participating students.  Scearce had an impressive 31-year career as a teacher in the Gaston County Schools and generously volunteered her time at both Page Primary and Belmont Central while her grandsons were students there.